Declaration of the defense of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

The following joint statement from the Mikhail Khodorkovsky defense team was posted in Russian yesterday on Below is the translation – also see Robert Amsterdam’s comment from last night. Declaration of the defense of Mikhail Khodorkovsky It is impossible to get rid of the feeling that with every step it takes, the investigation is trying to confirm the substantiation of the assessments of its actions as criminal. Today, 3 July 2008 – The investigative committee once again demonstrated that it not only does not consider itself in any degree whatsoever bound by the demands of the law, but even openly juxtaposes its actions to the demands of the President of the RF about uprooting legal nihilism, ensuring the supremacy of the law, independent and fair justice.

Against the background of how beautiful and proper words are being pronounced from lofty podiums, while in lofty offices strategic ideas for their realization are being elaborated, the behavior of the chiefs of the investigative group and those persons well known to all who are directing their activity is becoming ever more openly indecent, challenging, aimed at sabotaging the demands of the leadership of the country and undermining its authority:- The investigation has provided M.B. Khodorkovsky the materials of the case for familiarization, having openly ignored the will expressed by him in full correspondence with the law about the necessity of consultations with all defenders before once again embarking upon familiarization with the materials of the case. In so doing, the investigation did not even consider it necessary to get confirmation of the handing to the defenders of notifications, sent but on the eve, about the latest end of investigative actions and the latest extension of familiarization with the materials of the case, despite the fact that under the law it is obligated to do this and to wait for the arrival of the lawyers for five days. In consideration of the fact that the familiarization with the materials of the case is being carried out in one of the most outlying regions of the country, these actions can not be assessed otherwise than as an intentional trampling on the constitutional right to a defense and monstrous legal nihilism;- The investigation has turned away as “groundless” and “not having relation to the case” ALL petitions declared by M.B. Khodorkovsky and his defense with the aims of supplementing the investigation with materials refuting the charges and clarifying the true character of the events that are the subject of the investigation. This is done with the cynicism, pusillanimity and cowardice intrinsic to the investigative leadership: the signatories of the decrees on denial in the satisfaction of the petitions in Chita they made the youngest and most inexperienced investigators of the group, while their leaders remained in Moscow, on the side, as it were. It is obvious that such a step, inter alia, is also the practical instruction of the young specialists in legal nihilism;- Once again is confirmed the fact of a continuing parallel, and secret from the party of the defense, investigation under the cover of “other” cases. Yet another (the third by count) “dumping” into the case of additional volumes with copies of materials of another criminal case has been committed by the investigation. From the point of view of the interests of establishing the truth with respect to the charges brought against M.B. Khdoorkovsky, this – is papers that do not mean anything, characterizing individual fragments of the multitudinous treasury and other financial operations of the YUKOS group. Against the background of the declarations of the leadership of the Investigative Committee pronounced in recent days about several thousand volumes already “worked up” with respect to YUKOS cases, this – is an insignificantly small size, selected according to criteria known only to this leadership, its patrons and inspirers.Authentic and truly substantial materials, including from other cases as well, continue to be concealed from us.It is necessary to underscore that despite all the illicit and prevocational actions of the investigation, the only destiny that can await the authors of this ludicrous case, together with all of their “evidence” in any even remotely independent court, can be only an ignominious downfall.